By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)  — A strange new internet craze coined the “Tide Pod Challenge” has gone viral with teens across the nation.

Although some internet challenges, such as the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, support a good cause, this new trend has doctors and parents nationwide worried about the health of their teens.

The new trend requires the challenger to post a video of themselves online eating the raw or cooked laundry detergent pod.

A number of videos of the challenge have been uploaded to YouTube, while memes of the challenge have exploded across multiple social media platforms.

While many teens may view the craze as a lighthearted joke, doctors say that the trend can result in irritation and burns in the mouth, landing the challenger in the emergency room.

Ann Marie Buerkle, acting chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, says ingesting any of the liquid carries a deadly risk.

“This is what started out as a joke on the internet and now it’s just gone too far,” said Buerkle

Back in 2014 when the dangers were first documented, Evan Weiner, an emergency physician  with St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children explained what can happened when they’re ingested.

“Nausea or vomiting and then there are the more rare but more serious symptoms like altered mental status. Comatose state or respiratory depression where they’re not breathing and may require being put on a ventilator,” said Weiner.

Tide parent company Proctor and Gamble released a statement saying, “Our laundry pacs are a highly concentrated detergent meant to clean clothes and they’re used safely in millions of households every day. They should be only used to clean clothes and kept up, closed and away from children. They should not be played with, whatever the circumstance is, even if it is meant as a joke.”

[H/T: CBS Los Angeles]

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